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Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

Boston, MA
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275 posts
175 reviews
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Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

It's too bad tripadvisor won't list Banos Spanish Center as an attraction in Banos de Agua Santa- This school (the oldest in town) offers Spanish (or English) classes, salsa lessons, cooking classes and amazing homestay programs for tourists and longer-term residents. It is certainly worthy of a place on tripadvisor...

I spent nearly a month in Banos with Liz at the Banos Spanish Center http://www.spanishcenterschool.com/

After some time, my Spanish greatly improved and I felt as if I'd gained a family in Ecuador. I lived with Liz, the owner of the school, and her family... I was blown away by the quality of homestay (she sits down to eat with you 2x/day to encourage additional conversation) - her home is fantastic.. huge comfortable rooms with every amenity and more... gorgeous garden and very convenient location.

The course was 1 on 1 with a great instructor who knew how to balance between written and more academic work and just straight conversation. I'm speak at a more 'conversational level' and it was easy for the instructor to gauge my level and work with me the way in which would be most effective. I met kids as young as 8 in class at Liz's school taking classes... mainly tourists and visiting medical students- Liz speaks fluent English and German, knows everyone in town and is a wealth of knowledge, character and joy. Her programs are thoughtful and certainly aim to pull the Spanish out of you while you enjoy lovely, safe and exciting Banos.

There are a few other schools in town and I know they all get great reviews, but after spending so much time with Liz (and having my request for her school to be listed on Tripadvisor rejected!) I felt like I needed her school to have a presence on tripadvisor as well. I was absolutely blown away by the quality and Liz's efforts to make my time in Banos truly unforgettable....so unforgettable, in fact, that I plan to go back each year to spend a week there!

Please PM me with any questions about the school - i am happy to answer and talk more about my experience at the school and with the homestay program.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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10,712 posts
96 reviews
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1. Re: Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

Thanks for taking the time to post this. The topic of Spanish schools in Baños comes up every now and then.

Brockville, Canada
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7 posts
248 reviews
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2. Re: Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

Thank you so much for your wonderful post on this excellent Spanish School! We are going to be studying intro level Spanish there for a month...May 16 to June 17, 2014 to be exact... and will also be living with a host family while we are there. So very excited! Any further information on how to prepare for our trip before we go would be so greatly appreciated! As well, as we are both "young" retirees, we would love to know more about things that we could do while we are there. Can't wait to do the baths, spas and lots of nature walks! We are not really into zip lining, bridge jumping or white water rafting...the adrenaline rush type sports... but do want to go on weekend trips i.e. jungle tours. Also, are there any rooftop bars or restaurants in Banos? I can really see us going for drinks every afternoon while we are there!

Fairfax, California
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1 post
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3. Re: Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

I spent 2 weeks both studying Spanish & living with Elizabeth at the Banos Spanish Center in Feb. 2014. I can honestly say that it was 2 of the BEST weeks of my 57 years! The 1-on-1 daily Spanish lessons were top-notch; I had a wonderful teacher named Magally. As I love to hike, we would spend ½ of the lesson in the school, & ½ out walking either around town or in the BEAUTIFUL hills. My home stay was AMAZING - Elizabeth & her family made me feel so 'at home', plus it was an excellent way to practice my Spanish conversationally. I loved Banos so much that I am now planning on returning to live there! Thank you, Elizabeth!

San Francisco...
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3 posts
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4. Re: Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

I second this. It was great spending a week with Elizabeth's family and learning Spanish from Adriana Magally.

Brockville, Canada
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7 posts
248 reviews
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5. Re: Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

My husband and I, both newly retired from our respective professions, recently spent four weeks studying Spanish at this wonderful immersion school, Banos Spanish Centre, the first and oldest school in Banos, Ecuador. What an incredible life-changing experience we had! I would like to thank you Lovintheworld17 for your posting as well as everyone else who followed and endorsed her posting.

We each signed up for four hour morning classes, five days a week. It was very intense and exhausting at first, and then of course, there was always homework to do! But by the end of the third week, we found ourselves carrying on regular conversations with each of our Spanish teachers, Liz and Patty, very competent, patient and kind maestras who spoke only in Spanish with us. We were quite impressed at just how quickly total immersion can help you learn to speak a new language!

The Banos Spanish Centre mainly focusses on one-on-one conversational instruction within which grammar instruction is also imbedded. Each student had his own instructor teaching at exactly the pace required addressing their interests, needs and professions. During our morning break, we met other teachers and students from around the world, most times still continuing to speak in Spanish! As an educator, I also had the option to volunteer in local school every afternoon with Patty to work with all of the students and their teachers in her school. This was such an incredible and highly rewarding experience!

My husband and I, as well as some of the other students, also elected to go on some morning cultural and historical walks around town with our teachers as well as going on some field trips i.e. Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, Casa del Arbol, the Ruta de las Cascadas including Pailon de Diablo, La Hosteria El Trapiche, Huillacuna Casa Arte Hostel, etc. As a result of our remarkably positive experience with this school, in addition to our volunteer work, we will be returning for a month next year to continue with our Spanish instruction.

Baños (de Agua Santa) itself is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under the smoke of volcano Tungurahua. Its name, which is Spanish for "Baths (of sacred water)," comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in this area. And did we ever enjoy going to the thermal baths! The streets are lined with many hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agents, everything being very close to walk to. Banos is also an important hub for any outdoor sports and place to plan Amazon jungle tours to Puyo and Puerto Misahuallí.

We also had an amazing experience, not only studying Spanish, but living with Liz, the director, and her family in their very comfortable and lovely home! We had a very large bedroom with our own bathroom, a desk with WiFi and even laundry services. We ate our meals with the family and were they were ever delicious! English was not spoken in the home which became integral in the success of our learning to speak the language. We grew to love them very much and they have since become part of our own family back home in Canada. We continue to keep in touch with them and want to stay with them again when we return next year. What an awesome way to be introduced to the culture! We lived within a very safe neighbourhood, located only a couple minutes’ walk from the school where our classes took place.

Because of the wonderful experience that we had at the Banos Spanish Centre, we highly recommend this school to any of you wanting to learn to speak Spanish while enjoying all that Ecuador has to offer. We would also be more than pleased to answer any of your questions.

Sincerely, Debbie and Terry, June 19, 2014

6. Re: Banos Spanish Center - because Tripadvisor won't list it

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Removed on: 22 June 2015, 05:15